European Academy supports cultural exception


The board of the European Film Academy and its current president, Wim Wenders, declared their support of the petition launched by the French Association of Film Directors and Producers (ARP) to preserve Europe’s cultural exception in the EU/U.S. trade and investment negotiations staring this June. For more information and to sign the petition, please follow this link.

“To not respect the cultural exception,” EFA noted, “would threaten independent cinema and the author’s freedom of expression. It would also result in European films vanishing from cinema screens in Europe and around the world and in irreparable damage to European culture [and] would reduce the European Union to a purely administrative and economic body, thus putting an end to the European dream with all its negative consequences.” The EFA board also reminded politicians that “the audiovisual industry is one of the most promising job-generating sectors in Europe.”

Kinoton Eyes Galway
Germany’s Kinoton calls the Eye Cinema in Galway, Western Ireland, one of the Republic’s most modern movie venues. “The building is real eye candy with its modern design, fully living up to its name’s promise. All of the auditoriums feature large screens to accommodate widescreen and Cinemascope formats for brilliant images, backed by Dolby Digital surround sound for pure listening enjoyment. The Eye Cinema’s operator has made a point of making the theatre fully accessible to people with disabilities” as well.

Since opening in March 2005, the eight-plex has been relying on Kinoton projection, installing its first two digital 3D systems in 2009. Now, the company reports that its local dealer and service partner, Omnex Pro Film, outfitted the remaining six auditoriums as well, including a “premium” 4K projector of the type DCP 30 LX II-4K and five Kinoton DCP 30 SX II-2K projectors, which are all based on Barco technology from Texas Instruments.

Euro Producers in Toronto
European Film Promotion (EFP), Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Toronto International Film Festival have once again teamed up for Producers Lab Toronto. From Sept. 4 to 7, ten European producers will meet ten counterparts from Canada and four producers from guest countries Australia and New Zealand “to advance their film projects.” Four years ago, organizers developed the networking platform to include “pitching sessions, one-on-one-meetings, case studies, and financing and co-production information sessions.”

Since “the film industry is so international now,” noted EFP’s managing director, Renate Rose, “it is fundamental that one shares knowledge about financial and technical resources as well as compatible ideas with colleagues from around the globe.”

Italia in New York
As one of three Italian contributions to the Tribeca Film Festival, director Michelangelo Frammartino presented the world premiere of Alberi (“Trees”), his “never-ending” cinematic installation under the VW Dome at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York, that has been hailed as a “mesmerizing homage to nature [that] brings to life something buried in the intangible dimension of memory.” Jointly presented by several European cultural and funding institutions, and realized by creative and producing teams from Switzerland, Italy and Germany, the project was an integral part of “The Year of Italian Culture in the United States.”

Called out by Istituto Luce Cinecittà, whose mission—as a member of the previously mentioned European Film Promotion—includes bringing the best of Italian film abroad, several events and screenings featuring “the groundbreaking films of today as well as the all-time classics” are planned for New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. As for the Big Apple, the Istituto has already brought Italian films to New Directors/New Films, hosted jointly by MoMA and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, which also presents “Open Roads,” the 13th annual showcase of new Italian cinema, June 7-13. Last but not least, Manhattan’s legendary Lincoln Plaza Cinemas have been programming one or two films each month to celebrate “8 Decades of Italian Cinema.”

Studios Playing It Safe
While 83% of the international film community (measured in a survey of 738 participants) believes studios are choosing to “play it safe,” 70% feels that audiences would prefer to see more imaginative films and that “filmgoers are looking elsewhere for their film fix in the hunt for imagination.” Those are the results of the recent survey commissioned by Bombay Sapphire gin. Over half of those contacted (57%) also claim that the rise of on-demand viewing is making more imaginative and independent projects “more accessible and reaching wider audiences.”

The results clearly support Bombay Sapphire’s goal “to continue the discussion around imagination within the film industry and highlight some of the challenges budding filmmakers are facing,” said the distiller’s global marketing manager, Magali Podesta. “We believe imagination is at the heart of all great filmmaking and simply makes the world a more exciting, better place, so we are committed to sparking people’s imagination through our short film competition!”

For its second year, the “Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series: Film” named Oscar-winner Adrian Brody as a judge for the competition. Aspiring filmmakers from around the globe are invited to develop their short film concept from a screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher, Oscar winner for Precious. The four deemed the most imaginative will be selected for production at the beginning of August by Brody, Fletcher and representatives from the Tribeca Film Festival, where the newly completed projects will be screened in 2014. For additional information and to view the first set of truly deserving winners, go to

Kinepolis Sees Green
In advance of its annual shareholder meeting, Kinepolis Group sent notice to “shareholders, movie lovers, staff, press and other partners.” The pan-European exhibitor not only posted the 2012 annual report and its updated corporate brochure, highlighting “our company’s mission and strategy, its staff, its core activities and many other aspects of life in the Group, but also invites everybody to share in Kinepolis Green Star.

This sustainability project is “becoming an increasingly relevant part of our daily decision-making process and business operation,” company heads Joost Bert and Eddy Duquenne note in their introduction to the report. And, indeed, from building design and renovation, to energy consumption and waste reduction and recycling, to “interplay with our personnel” and social commitment, going green has become “our guiding principle.”

Figueras Seats SF Bio
Going back to March of 1939, the ravishingly retro Rigoletto in Stockholm, Sweden, was recently refurbished with new Figueras seats “to make it more comfortable for patrons,” the Barcelona, Spain-based seating experts announced. In addition to refurbishing the main seating area, SF Bio’s flagship cinema also upgraded its balcony into a VIP area with 187 (model 5082 Kasandra) fauteuils and adjoining lounge. While the main auditorium is the largest in the country, the Rigoletto also offers three more smaller “salongs.”

Some 100 km (62 miles) from the capital, the eight theatres of SF Bio Västeras were also updated, Figueras further noted ( “SF Bio is Sweden’s largest cinema chain and for the last 12 years has placed its trust in Figueras. With nearly 60 projects completed all over Sweden, Figueras has always been the chain’s choice because of its characteristic quality, safety features, comfort and durability.”